Microsoft Wants More Patents

from the well,-they-want-more-of-everything... dept

It’s unfortunate that companies still feel the need to equate patents to “innovation” when the opposite is often true. These days, unfortunately, many companies feel the need to get patents simply as a defensive measure. Whether for defense or offense, it appears that Bill Gates believes Microsoft needs more patents. The company is ramping up their efforts to file for more patents and plan to extort license them to other businesses. So far, they’re off to a good start. Some recently noted Microsoft patents include saving the name of a game you’re playing, showing that someone is “typing a message” in IM software, thread based email, writing an application in HTML, grouping programs together in the taskbar, pronouns used in programming and the concept of giving “kudos” points for style and flair. Well, kudos to Microsoft then, on the style and flair with which they’ve been granted so many questionable patents.

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Comments on “Microsoft Wants More Patents”

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dan says:

Re: No Subject Given

I’m not a huge MS supporter, but I don’t know about this knee jerk reactive statement. In a lot of ways, patenting everything is MS’s solution to the patent office; namely, if they didn’t patent some of this obvious stuff, they’re afraid they’ll be sued over it. The real question will arise when they have the chance to enforce these patents — what do they do then?

Look at IBM….they have a ton more patents than anyone else, to my knowledge, and actively pursue more. For the most part they seem to use them to protect themselves, however.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

What will they do when it comes time to enforce?

I’m tending to agree with the anonymous poster above…they will use all that money and power to the best of their abilities.

They can’t buy open source…BUT, the threat of a lawsuit over a spurious patent by Microsoft WILL shut down MANY MANY open source projects…effectively hamstringing the acceptance of open source (a competitor winning more and more recruits away from them every day).

Think about it…you’re a project of maybe a dozen core programmers…maybe all working on it in your spare time or you’ve made a small(ish) company and are making a reasonable amount of money. One cease-and-desist letter from Microsoft and you are toast. Yeah, you MIGHT be able to win in the court of law…but that’s thousands (if not MILLIONS) of dollars and YEARS down the line because while you MIGHT be able to afford ONE good lawyer (or get pro-bono from a couple), Microsoft can throw away MILLIONS and an ENTIRE legal department at you to make SURE you pay as much as possible for your victory.

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